I’ve been blogless this week. There are various reasons, most of them associated with ennui and apathy. These things happen. To tied you over, here is a Inula hookeri thinking about flowering.
Welcome to another Six on Saturday, I hope it finds you well and happy. If you would like to know more about this worldwide phenomena then pop on over to meet our host The Propagator (a little bit like The Terminator but marginally less violent). Shall we proceed? We don’t want to give that Welsh chap anything to moan about.
First, we have the ever faithful Osteospermum ‘Double Berry Purple’. It struggles through each winter cruelly exposed to the elements, whether wet or cold or windy or all three, with little more than a shrug. A trouper and one to have on your side.
Onto another stalwart of the garden. However much I mistreat this gallant soldier it fights on regardless. It is dragged it out of shrubs, the roots are wrenched from the ground and shrivelling spells are cast. Still it displays its virginal flowers to prove my ineptitude. Never one to let you down, I give you, drum roll please, the indestructible (through fair means not foul) bindweed!
Next, we have Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’, probably. It grows in a narrow gravel border that edges the slabbed area. Although it is flowering well at the moment, contrarily, I chose to present the foliage which I think is equally as lovely. I notice that someone has taken a cartoonish nibble out of one of its leaves. Now who could that have been? Hands up please, or should I say tentacle up?
Now we have Bletilla stricta ‘Alba’ which although growing healthily has been a great disappointment. This year, as well as last, it pretended to flower, causing great excitement, but the bud disintegrated into nothingness. Any ideas folks? I have fed with tomato food, which as you know isn’t as daft as it sounds. Oh yes, and there this little chap who I thought was quite beautiful. Unless he is called The Emerald Bud Chewer. I might go off him then.
I don’t have much in the way of bedding plants, but these little trailing verbena turned my eye whilst shopping for essentials. Surely no one could argue that this little darling is not essential!
And finally, more excitement in the garden. After five years languishing in pot showing no inclination to do anything of merit, my Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’ had got not one, but two flower spikes. I have changed my name to Thrilled of North Devon. That is unless the dreaded Emerald Bud Chewer comes its way. I have installed 24 hour security.
Another week over, take care my friends, and stay safe.
I went for a walk on Hilsborough today; a hill that looms between ourselves and the sea. It is National Trust land and a nature reserve, and at the top is an ancient hill fort, although to the untrained eye or uninformed this is not obvious. I was on my own, OH was otherwise employed doing something mysterious in the garden. It is usually best if I vacate the house when he is doing something mysterious, especially if it is in the garden.
I have walked up this hill many times, although possibly not as many as I should. Today the grass that flanked the accent was meadow-like, dotted with umbellifers and buzzing with life. And there were foxgloves, hosts of foxgloves. As I was unhindered by a co-walker, I headed off my normal route, down an unmarked path and into the woods. I have always felt at ease amongst trees. But as the way began to drop steeply a voice in my head whispered “never give up the high ground”. Naturally I ignored this whining and ventured down, down around a silty series of hairpin bends. “This would be great on a mountain bike”, I thought, which is odd as I have never even owned a bike and am a commensurate coward. Just bravado. It is as well I didn’t say that out loud or I would have had to suffer sniggers.
I passed gnarled thorn trees and banks of ferns, hopped over exposed roots and bedrock erupting effortlessly from the ground and admired lichen and wildflowers. Every so often glimpses of headland and sea were spied through the sycamores. It was still unfamiliar territory, with signposts that told me little except I was on a road to somewhere. And the “going down” was still “going down”. Which of course means “going up” at some point. Life is unfortunately like that. Eventually things began to look familiar and I was striding my way home. I hadn’t doubted it for a moment.
Earlier, before I set off on my expedition into the unknown, I reached a viewing point and looked out to sea. When I was a child my Dad worked in Canada and the USA for several six month stints and we would all miss him terribly when he was away. At the beach I would look out to sea and wave in what I imagined to be the right direction, as a reminder that his family were at home thinking of him. I always think of this when I stand facing the mighty ocean. And I still miss him.
Although this time I could just about glimpse Wales in the distance, so I waved to my Mum and John instead. Not together of course. That would be very scary.
Flower, bee, pollen.
Another Six on Saturday and, with a little help from my friends, specifically my blogging mate Jude, I have discovered the link button in this “oh, so moderne” block editor. It seems fair to have used this newly discovered facility to direct you to Jude’s site where no doubt she has also, or is about to, produce a Six on Saturday. To catch up with the rest of the gang, pop over to The Venerable Prop’s site where you can feast on sixes from across the globe. Top tip: don’t try to eat them all at once, a few nibbles then return later for more goodies is how I avoid indigestion. I would recommend being especially cautious when approaching any contribution from a certain Mr K, he can be rather spicy.
One problem solved, another found. This seems to be my mantra. Now I am experiencing “the infuriatingly disappearing tags”, any ideas anyone? Don’t pass this off as fluff. It is an emergency. My frustration resulted in a bad word or six and a reversion to Classic Editor in order to sort it. Mind you, I have always been a classic gal. I have no remorse.
Shall we proceed? I think we should, it’s nearly Sunday.
First, we have another newbie to my gang, Fuchsia ‘Eruption’, seen here getting acquainted with the rhodohypoxis. I’m very fond of this form of fuchsia, which I like to call The Dangly Group, although I have suspicions there may be something more official.
Now Calendula ‘Neon’. This photo is possibly over-exposed, as it was taken during a full-on sunny abberation. But I liked the way it turned out, radiating solar energy with a patient bud waiting in the wings.
Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ was a gift from Lady Mantle. Is it still called a gift when you ask for it? Not sure. I am pretty certain she was thinking of giving it to me anyway. We shall never know. For those of you with wicked minds, you know who I am talking about, I did not steal it.
Rose of no name. Fragrant, beautiful and a pain in the posterior.
On to Primula capitata ‘Noverna Deep Blue’, with a wonderful dusting of farina on indigo flowers. This is kept in a pot and circulated with the other seasonal favourites. When its glory time is over, it will be hidden around a corner with the other has-beens. Until next year, when it will hopefully shine again. If only life was like that. Glory then rest, repeat. I could live with that.
And finally, Aquilegia canadensis with its delicious St Clements bloom. I love it.
That’s me done, another week all sixed out. Stay safe my friends, its not over yet.
It is always special to see once of your babies doing well. This Iochroma australe was grown from seed and now, with its pale sister, is thriving in Max’s garden.
I do wish I had kept one for myself. It could have elbowed its way into a corner somewhere.
On reflection it probably is for the best. Sometimes you have to let your young ‘uns go, to spread their leaves elsewhere.
It was predicted but you never can be quite sure, I have been disappointed before. As we slept it started, but in the morning it was hard to say quite how much had fallen. A morning at The Buns, planting in mainly mizzle with a little drizzle, showed just how little it had penetrated into the soil. It would have to try harder. And this afternoon it did. Proper rain. Welcome rain.
I’ve always enjoyed sleeping. Would it be immodest of me to say I’m rather good at it? Well I am, it would be my Mastermind specialist subject. That is until recently. My meagre superpower has abandoned me. In the past few weeks, months even, I have woken early, wide awake with no glimmer of sleep on the horizon.
There was no change this morning. At just before six I was up and about, full of beans, top of my game. I spent the two hours between rising and leaving for Nancy Nightingale’s, watering the garden, catching up with emails and the weekend papers (mainly looking at the pictures) and preparing for the day ahead, all whilst the nightbird dozed upstairs.
As I grabbed my work bag and headed out, I thought “I don’t think I’ve got my house keys. No matter, I won’t need them” and I pulled the door closed behind me. Something felt amiss. I looked down. Bare, naked feet. I had forgotten to put my shoes on.
Oh dear. Someone is going to be grumpy.
This is my first attempt at a Six on Saturday from scratch, using the new-fangled WordPress block editor. At the moment I haven’t located the link oojamaflip (I’ve never had to spell that word before, might need checking, I did, it was wrong, I corrected it, no-one will ever know) so you will have to find your own way to The Propagator and his blog of wonders. I have faith in your navigation skills. You know you can’t always have it handed to you on a plate, it is about time you did a little work for yourself. Having skilfully offended both the members of my audience, I will continue.
First, we have Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, a Six on Saturday favourite. And quite rightly so; although not blue, it is a rhapsody. The contemplation of this rose has taken me straight back to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and the dolly bird pilots Harmony, Melody, Rhapsody, and Symphony Angel. How I wanted to be in their gang. It turns out I never even got close.
Next, we have a pelargonium proving to the world just how wrong they can be. Over-wintered outside, sited in the shadiest spot of the garden, and happy as a pellie can be.
A wanderer in the garden, Gladiolus byzantinus, is always welcome wherever it pokes it head up. And always a relief that is not another bloomin’ crocosmia.
The tough as old boots Phlomis fruticosa is in full flower at the moment. It may be that I just haven’t noticed it before, but the blooms seem to be held on particularly long stalks this year.
I have become partial to a begonia. It might be an age thing, along with cardigans. Whilst doing some essential shopping I spotted these trailing variety and they became more important than the toilet rolls. Surely no-one could argue that point? I was tempted to draw two eyes on this flower. But that would have been very silly, and we can’t be having any of that nonsense.
The big red poppy, archetypal, is holding its flower heads to the side this year. Another strange phenomena (along with the long stalked phlomis, in case you skimmed over that bit). Lucky catch of a visitor to the busby centre.
That’s it for another week my friends. Next week, flaming June. Stay safe and well.
This installation has appeared at The Mantles. I thought it best not to ask.